The state of being unable to pay your debts such that you submit yourself to the protection of the state. A person or business may voluntarily assign himself into bankruptcy or may be petitioned into bankruptcy by his creditors. Once in bankruptcy, the person surrenders his assets to a trustee in bankruptcy who sells the assets for the benefit of the bankrupt’s creditors, first secured creditors then unsecured creditors. Once a person is discharged from bankruptcy, none of his former creditors may pursue him for his former debts.
A proceeding in which an insolvent debtor can obtain relief from payment of certain obligations. Bankruptcies remain on a credit record for seven to 10 years and can severely limit a person’s ability to borrow.